Teacher's notes


How to use this resource...

Our Forest, Our Future helps teachers and pupils to explore the interdependence of people and forests and the vital role forests play in sustaining our environment – in the past, the present and hopefully the future.

The Scots Pine forests in Scotland and the Congo Basin rainforest in Africa provide case studies through which pupils will begin to understand why our forests are under threat and the implications for our planet. Further information about these forests is provided in the following documents.

In making connections between consumerism, people and the environment, pupils will be encouraged to see how they and their actions have an impact on the lives of others globally. It encourages reflection on the possible futures of the world's forests and ways of taking positive actions for a future where people and forests co-exist in a sustainable way.

The resource is structured around a global citizenship framework devised by Oxfam.

Learning framework

More detail on the framework can be found in Global Learning Framework [pdf]

The reflection and evaluation sections in each activity support formative assessment and ongoing monitoring of pupils learning.

Additional assessment opportunities are indicated by... Assessment

Outdoor learning opportunities are indicated by... Outddor learning

Homework activities are indicated by... Homework

Active global citizens


Taking Action for Change

Education for Global Citizenship is committed to enabling pupils to bring about positive actions for change either locally or globally. This process should support pupils to make their own informed choices through a critical evaluation of the options open to them and the possible implications of those choices.

Throughout the resource there are ideas for possible actions, such as reflecting on our power as consumers, peer education and tree planting. Your pupils themselves should be encouraged to think creatively about the many actions they could take, critically evaluate the impact these actions might have and then evaluate what they have done.

The materials below support your pupils through this process.

Which action? [pdf]

How did it go? [pdf]

Our forest our future

Section 1

What is a forest?

1. What are forests like?

2. How are you connected to the forest?

3. Where are the world's rainforests?

4. Exploring the Scots Pine forest and the Congo Basin rainforest

5. Animals and plants in a Scots pine forest

6. The web of life in a Scots pine forest

7. Animals and plants in the Congo Basin rainforest

8. Comparing the Scots pine forest and the Congo Basin rainforest

9. Of forests and Men

10. What is your opinion about the world's forests?

Section 2

How do we use forests?

1. The Guardian of the forest

2. What is 'Sustainable development'?

3. How do we use the world's forests?

4. Scottish forests in the past

5. A history of two forests

6. Needs and Wants

7. Forest clearance past and present part 1

8. Forest clearance past and present part 2

9. Congo Basin rainforest: exploring the reasons for forest clearance

10. Baka community lifestyle

11. Whose forest?

12. Wood survey

13. Where does our wood come from?

Section 3

What is happening to our forests?

1. Why are our forests being cleared?

2. Exploring issues: an enquiry approach?

3. Consumer power

4. A world without rainforests

5. Roads into the forest

6. How can I make the world a better place?

7. How do they feel?

Section 4

Forests of the future

1. Probable and preferable futures

2. Forests of the future

3. Future generations: what are their rights?

4. Trees mean life and other stories of tree regeneration

5. Movements for change: activists' stories

6. What is the best way to protect the environment? (RISC)

> Asking questions

2. Forests of the Future: imagining the future of our forests

What you need:


To explore the probable and preferable future of forests locally and globally

To consider what needs to happen to make the preferable future happen

To reflect on ways we can shape the future of our forests

What to do

You may want to do the introductory activity first, which is a local and personal imagining of the future.

Explain that there are a number of quotations around the room which are about forests. Ask the pupils to walk around and read the quotes, then select the one they like the best and stand next to it. They should form groups around their chosen quote and discuss what is its significance and meaning. Each group then shares their quote and sums up what the group liked about it.

Introduce the idea of a timeline that is setting out actual and / or likely events along a specific timescale. Explain to the class that they will be exploring the future of the world's forests using this timeline. Some will think about the Scots pine forest and some will think about the Congo Basin rainforests. In groups, pupils should add to the timeline what major events have happened to the forest so far. They can find out this information from A History of two Forests activity sheets.

Next they need to think about what they hope will happen to the forest in the future and add this to the 'preferable' line. Finally pupils should reflect together on what they think will probably happen to the forest and put this on the 'probable' line. Their thinking should be informed by all the previous work on forests they have done.

Hold a discussion with the class comparing their probable and possible imagined futures for the forests. Use the reflection and evaluation points below.

Teacher Prompts

Reflection and evaluation